Our little friends have been very busy inventors, painters, and explorers!
*Leaf Collage Invitation*
Continuing our study of leaves and fall, we used our huge leaf collection to collage! Our Wednesday friends organized our leaves for us according to color which made it easier to choose which leaves we wanted to use for our masterpieces. This exercise was a great way for our minds to warm up in the morning as it took some good imagining and planning to foresee our leaf collage creation. We found that it was a little difficult for us to use the leaves as our collaging material with the glue bottles. Not only did we have to be careful when placing the leaves because they would tear and break, but we would also have to use some muscle to squeeze the glue out of the bottle. We had to be both gentle and strong at the same time!
Nevertheless, our friends persevered through the challenges and created some great artwork! E made a skunk while EG made homes for the animals in her collage. She made homes for a skunk, porcupine, worm, snake, fox, another worm, and a beetle!
With the weather cooling, our friends have been starting to get the sniffles and coughs. This has been a great opportunity to talk about germs and practice good health skills. We have been focusing on coughing in our elbows and independently blowing our noses. I believe this is what led to the following conversation excerpt during our leaf collages:
"My mom doesn't like when I cough on people." - E
"It's not nice to cough on people." - W
I couldn't help but chuckle a bit! Proof that when we take a step back to listen and observe our kiddos, we can see that they do understand larger abstract concepts and do care! :-)
*Pumpkin Spice Play Dough Invitation*
We brought out our pumpkin spice dough for another week after observing the kiddos enjoyment last week. This week brought new creations and inventions as we added some new tools for our dough! EG made a pumpkin cupcake which led into a conversation about our favorite kinds of cupcakes and desserts. "Can we pretend this is a bakery?!" - EG
"I'm making a ball snowman!" - E
Our kiddos were very interested in taking some time to tinker! Each of our friends concentrated very hard on their projects. EG made a dog house and a boat. E make a ukulele, a house, a maraca, and a phone! W made a mouse trap and C made another collage!
During our tinkering time, we discussed mindfulness and how it applies to our supplies. As much as we like to watch the glue drip out of the bottle into a huge puddle, we know that we don't want to be wasteful because then we won't have any more glue.
I'm a firm believer in letting the kiddos explore properties of a material which sometimes means they will use a surplus of the supplies. However, I also believe that this needs to be balanced with learning to be mindful and responsible for our actions. Teaching mindfulness to our kiddos at a young age gives them the tools to become compassionate human beings as they grow. :-)
*Responsibility in Action*
Our friend C LOVES to read books and has access to our library at all times. However, she knows that each book she gets out - she will also have to put away.
Learning to be responsible transcends all aspects of our lives. Not only does C know she is responsible for her immediate actions, she also can apply that knowledge to caring for other living things. Watering our plants is one of her favorite activities! :-)
*Freestyle Painting Invitation*
Our kiddos chose to spend some of their time painting! We had very vibrant zoo masterpieces!
*Together Time/Story Time*
In addition to collaging with our leaves, we learned about the properties of specific kinds of leaves. We talked about which trees which leaves come from and how we can determine the species. We also brought out our Whole Child Floor Book to review our past weeks together. We added to our family page and read our new books in our library!
Thanks to our families for volunteering to bring in books for our library! Please don't forget to return your books! :-)
As we were gathering around for our final story reading of the day, our friend E was having a bit of a difficult time. He was greatly missing his mom and couldn't wait for her to come and pick him up. EG noticed his tears and sat down beside of him. She used her empathy and comforted E by saying that sometimes she misses her daddy and mommy, too. They both talked through their feelings together and ended with a hug. Even though they feel sad sometimes, they know that their parents will always come back.
I secretly photographed this touching moment and couldn't wait to share the story with our families. Learning empathy and how to relate to others isn't a quantifiable skill, therefore, it isn't a focus in other learning environments. It's up to us to implement these skills in our kiddos at an early age and our families are doing a fantastic job! :-) :-)
Check out our special blog with a summary of our Samhain Celebration! I've created a separate blog with documentation of both groups' Autumn Parties! :-)
See ya next week!